Johnson: To all our small businesses, we thank you

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U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks at a town hall meeting with constituents at Bossier Parish Community College in late April 2019. (Courtesy of Allen J.M. Smith)

To understand the genius of the American free enterprise, it is useful to hear the stories of real people who have pursued the American dream. We have many of these folks in Louisiana’s Fourth District and across the nation. Karen Hooks is one of them. She has owned and worked at Bruce’s Tax Service in Leesville for more than 40 tax seasons, and she built her business from the ground up.

According to the 2018 report from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 99.5 percent of Louisiana’s businesses are small businesses, employing more than 50 percent of the private workforce in our state. 

It is our neighbors, friends and even our families who are responsible for the unparalleled strength and success of the U.S. economy. We are founded on hard work, creativity, competition and private sector innovation, which have been the keys to generating jobs and empowering entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, decades of anti-business legislation eventually eroded our economy and burdened our businesses. Operations like Bruce’s Tax Service found themselves trapped under unnecessary federal regulations and excessive taxation. 

In 2017, however, my colleagues and I in the House, along with Republicans in the Senate and President Trump in the White House, decided enough was enough. We understood small businesses and their employees are the driving force behind economic success back home and that we had to do everything we could in Washington to ensure their success. So, we put together the largest tax reform package since 1986, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and significantly reduced tax rates for individuals and businesses.

And despite the false narrative from those on the Left who do their best to mischaracterize our landmark tax and regulatory reforms, they are working. Just ask an entrepreneur like Mrs. Hooks. With 44 years of small business experience, she knows what she is talking about. She has seen many changes to the tax code, and out of all of them, she said the TCJA has been one of the most significant.

“I’m getting a 20 percent deduction for the qualified business deduction,” Hooks said. “Any company that had a profit should have realized some good out of President Trump’s tax package.”

“I was able to purchase a building last year and re-model it to have my own place instead of renting,” Hooks said.

Women like Mrs. Hooks and business owners all across America are the reason we fight so hard for pro-growth polices in D.C. We know they are the ones creating jobs, driving innovation and increasing America’s competitiveness worldwide. And we know they thrive when there is less interference from the government.

Unfortunately, we have seen a disturbing push by those on the Left to implement Socialist policies that insert government into the everyday lives of the American people and eliminate individual choice and freedom. Now, more than ever, it is imperative we defend our country from the misguided policies that would serve to destroy the very fabric of our nation.

We must fight for the American dream – the idea that if you work hard, sacrifice and play by the rules, you can make a better life. It is this freedom and opportunity that defines the American spirit and affords the chance we all have to create a successful business like Mrs. Hooks and so many others. 

To all our risk takers, entrepreneurs and job creators, we thank you for all you do. We’ll keep fighting to promote your growth and prosperity. 

Mike Johnson represents the Louisiana 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.